Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Insta-Bakes

I am as guilty as the next guy when it comes to posting pics of food on Instagram.  I try to convince myself it's a little better when it's about food you're making yourself.  Looks like I've been busy baking recently! Quiche from scratch (so good, Joseph ate the hell out of it), first attempt at baking bread (Challah back, y'all!), a classic NY crumb cake, and ridiculously large "ultimate" chocolate chip cookies (God bless you, Martha Stewart).






Never fear, I'm still pathologically crafty as well.  In addition to baking more and keeping up with quilting, I've decided I finally need to learn to cross-stitch, so there are plenty of Insta-Crafts to post too.



Sunday, January 29, 2017

Chairmen of the Board Games

One of my partners at work recently retired, and since we have yet to replace him, I've had to begrudgingly start working more hours in the new year.  It's definitely not been fun adapting to the new schedule and trying to figure out how to still be as productive with less time off (I know, poor me), but one thing I would not compromise on was still being available to pick Joseph up from school and spend the afternoon with him on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I know he doesn't really need me home as much as he is getting older, but I've always been the kind of parent that just wants to be present.  On any given afternoon together I am guaranteed to hear "Do you want to play a game, Daddy?"  And my answer is always a resounding "Yes!"  Our go-to's tend to be Life and Monopoly, but we run the gamet of many other board games and card games too.







There's frequently some crafting involved as well.  Joseph is kind of an artsy kid, so he helped try out a few ideas that I was working on for our class auction project this year.  Still haven't sorted that one out....maybe because we moved on to Quixels and Star Wars Lego's.







Wednesday, January 25, 2017

9.5

We still celebrate Joseph's half-birthday, with half a cake!



He's still a chocolate lover, so I tried out a classic "tunnel of fudge" Bundt cake.  Lots of sprinkles make everything more festive!




Nine and a half candles ;)



Happy half-birthday, Joseph!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Built

We have a very big project coming up in the very near future (!!!), and in preparation, we decided to start tackling some smaller things around the house that have been on the to-do list for a while.  The biggest of those was getting built-ins in our study.  Luckily we know an awesome contractor whose favorite thing to do on the side is custom cabinetry.  He previously did an entertainment unit in our basement.  Check it out, from bookcases to new built-ins, with shelves to the ceiling, double file drawers, and a new desk with a beautiful walnut top:







The old furniture has found a new home at Aunt Missy's, who practically acted like she won the lottery when we offered it to her!  As our Christmas presents to each other, B and I decided to upgrade all of our technology, so now there's a gorgeous new iMac filling up that center opening in the desk.

Now about that very big project coming up?  We should be breaking ground in just a few weeks on a 2 story addition to our house!  We knew when we bought the house we'd eventually want to expand it, and it took almost 16 years to getting around to doing it. Sharing a bathroom with a very big (and growing!) kid may have finally provided the inspiration we needed.  Here's a sneak peak at the plans.  Our current kitchen and dining room are being combined into one big kitchen (*swoon*), then we are adding a new dining room off the back - but it's such a big room that it will have a built in window seat on one side and a bar area on the other, with access to a new open air porch.  On the second floor will be our master bathroom, turning what we have into a master bedroom suite!  Can. Not. Wait!!!!








Saturday, January 14, 2017

New Addition

Brent asked me to make a quilt for one of his coworkers who was having a baby girl.  I got started on a rainbow colored quilt (because hello, little girls and rainbows and unicorns!) and had even finished piecing the top when I finally found out that the mom had chosen a gray, orange and aqua color scheme for the nursery.  That's such a lovely color combo that I had to switch gears immediately, so I pulled what I had in my stash and chose one of the most straightforward patterns I could think of, the "plus quilt," perfect for a new "addition" to this family!  Literally not a single seam to match, I had it pieced and basted in no time at all.




Though it was impossible to photograph well due to lighting and weather, I think it's just the most adorable quilt ever.  So simple but stunning - and not just because I love gray!  (Seriously though, these are some of the worst quilt pics I've taken!  Tried so many different days but just couldn't get the colors to read right.  Finally just had to wash it up so it could be delivered.)



The quilting was super simple, straight lines 1/4" inside the plus sign seams both horizontally and vertically.  I always thought I'd use a dark grey for the binding, but this orange convinced me it was the right choice.





The back wound up fun and funky.  It's always fascinating to see what results from an effort to just use up all the scraps from the front. That teal-ish fabric up the middle was the first fabric I pulled.  It's made it into 1 or 2 other quilts, and now it's all gone.





There are so many other gorgeous fabrics in this quilt too, I'm just "positively" in love with it!



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Return to Zoo Lights

I hadn't realized until posting this that it's been a few years since we've done Zoo Lights.  I'm glad I pushed to go again this year, even though we waited until the very last day.











I always wish there we more animal displays open, but I understand they need a break from us crazy humans.  The Reptile House is one of Joseph's favorites, and there he goes again, taking pictures and videos of everything!